[Fis] 回复: Hello IS4SI?

Pedro C. Marijuan pcmarijuan.iacs at aragon.es
Thu Mar 5 21:41:48 CET 2020

Dear Yixin & FIS Colleagues,

My impression is that your approach has merit in connecting the problem 
of information with the ecology of knowledge and the new directions of 
artificial intelligence. You have introduced order, but may I say that 
it is somehow "artificial" and has not cut through the Gordian knot that 
freezes current approaches to information? Metaphorically speaking, of 
course... Although far from having any clear solution, I will propose 
some alternative/complementary  directions to explore. Sorry if what 
follows sounds a little bit confusing.

First. About "ontological information" (you say "of any object, 
including the living and non-living thins, is the object’s _formal state 
and the pattern of the state varying_ that are produced and presented by 
the objects in the real world").I think this category is open ended, 
unassailable except by a lot of intersubjective consensus that has to 
cut among the multiple processes involved in the apparent stability of 
that object. I almost remember a fine, classical essay about what's in a 
dime (although I cannot locate it on the Internet--does anyone reminds 
it??). So that one can relate dozens and dozens of processes that may be 
taking part, facultatively, of the multiple info wrappings around that 
innocent "object". In your terms, I think, we must use our own epistemic 
information, and make a series of exchanges, in order to abduce some 
items and agree: this is the concrete piece of information of the object 
we will focus on. Fortunately we have a social-cognitive instinct that 
gives us all that fuss almost for free. But, in fact we amalgamate not 
two but the three kinds of information you mention --for our agreement 
on the concrete piece of information abduced will be due to previously 
sharing/discussing some pragmatics.

And second, speaking only on "objects" obscures the many crisscrossed 
processes that may be intervening. Actually, any object is but a 
temporal "island of stability" concerning some of those intervening 
processes, the most generative ones. And depending on the space-time 
scale of observation, some of these processes will disappear 
(irrelevant) while others will take relevance. To go beyond, a 
philosophy of processes is needed that may clarify the necessary 
coupling of the environmental presences with the subject. But more 
difficulties appear now, for the subject always seems to be the 
ineffable scientific observer endowed with the "principle of 
objectivation" and with unlimited cognitive capability. This point is 
important for me, as the further components of epistemological 
information you mention (syntactic, semantic, pragmatic) do not match 
well with this coupling. If we want to consider a non-human observer 
--eg, my favorite bacterium, E. coli k12 responding to a quorum signal-- 
we have no clear responses. _What matches the environmental presences is 
always an ADVANCING LIFE CYCLE, always engaged in the procurement of its 
own advancement._ For bacteria or for the microscopist. Further, the 
particular subject has to look for the consensus (quorum signals, 
reports & publications) within the community of co-observers. And in the 
human case, the bodies of knowledge to be exchanged, in order to abduce 
the info item & obtain its meaning, shouldn't they be scientific 
disciplines whenever available or possible? It is the classical 
"methods", "results", "discussion"...

I realize the above "pan-vitalist" views are still primary and difficult 
to cohere. In any case, rather than trying to cajole the general 
information problem in communication terms (Shannon) or physicalist 
terms (Stan will allow me the criticism), it is the other way around. 
They may be obtained as simplifications--Yixin, already provides clear 
statements about that. My impression is that the new developments around 
quantum info and particularly entanglement cosmic role suggest that the 
new physics is another part of the multidisciplinary convergence on the 
renewed info problem.

Best wishes--Pedro

El 05/03/2020 a las 7:30, 钟义信 escribió:
> Dear Pedro and All,
> You are welcome to join in the discussion.
> Best regards,
> ------------------
> *Prof. Zhong Y. X.*
> Center for Intelligence Science Research
> Beijing University of Posts & Telecom
>         钟义信
> 北京邮电大学/教职工/计算机学院
> 13701230645
> 北京
> ------------------ 原始邮件 ------------------
> *发件人:* "Pedro"<pcmarijuan.iacs at aragon.es>;
> *发送时间:* 2020年3月4日(星期三) 晚上7:33
> *收件人:* "fis"<fis at listas.unizar.es>;
> *主题:* [Fis] Hello IS4SI?
> Dear List Colleagues,
> Let me remind the desirable seasonal contribution of IS4SI Board 
> members to the vitality of this list. It is not so difficult: any 
> comments on relevant papers or books recently read, any discussion on 
> the problems of the own research, or any reflection on the amazing 
> evolution of our societies... does still exist the aspiration of being 
> a thought-collective?  Below I reproduce a very interesting message 
> from Yixin, say his "seasonal contribution" to this winter. It passed 
> undiscussed except by Gordana and by Joseph in his Summary. Part of 
> the problem was that it was sent as an attachment. In any case I think 
> it deserves further discussion as it implies a very holistic view on 
> information (that one can share or not) very useful for our common 
> foundational info purposes.
> Best wishes
> --Pedro
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Dear Joseph, Dear Pedro, Dear All,
> The discussions on the topics of information, disinformation and 
> misinformation have been carried on for a couple of weeks from which I 
> learnt a lot. Let me also share some of my views with friends and 
> colleagues within our society, IS4SI.
> *1, Why Is The Discussion Important?*
> The current discussion is important simply because of the fact that, 
> together with matter and energy, information is the most valuable 
> resource for human society as well as for the living world. 
> Particularly, in the stage of information age, the role information 
> plays is even more fundamental. As to the members of International 
> Society for the Study of Information, we are bearing on the special 
> responsibility for making as clear as possible the concepts, 
> properties, utilities, risks, and policies related to information.
> *2, What Is Information On Earth Then?*
> For making clear the policies related to information, the first thing 
> we should do (and also cannot be avoided) is to precisely understand 
> what information is – the definition of information. It IS, no doubt, 
> the very foundation for distinguishing the concepts of information, 
> disinformation, misinformation, and etc.Shannon, Wiener, Ashby, 
> Bateson and many others have made contributions to the issue, the 
> definition of information. Negative entropy, variety, and difference 
> that make difference are the mutually linked, and yet different, answers.
> But, all the ‘definitions’ mentioned above have certain demerits. 
> Firstly, for example, the concept of entropy in Shannon Information 
> Theory and Wiener’s Cybernetics is based on the probability theory 
> whereas information is not limited to statistical category. Secondly, 
> the concept of ‘variety’ seems much too simple and it cannot 
> distinguish two events having same number of elements and different 
> weights associated to each of the elements. Thirdly, the concept of 
> ‘difference that make difference’ is also not perfect because of the 
> fact that ‘no difference’ does not mean ‘no information’. As a matter 
> of fact, ‘no difference’ itself does give information.To my 
> understanding, there have been two categories of information, rather 
> than one, existed and related to each other in the real world.
> The first category of information is the one produced and presented 
> from all things in the real world, which may suitably be termed 
> *ontological information*(or *object information*) and the second 
> category is the one perceived and utilized by humans, which may 
> accordingly be termed *epistemological information*(or *subject 
> information*). Detailed explanations concerning these concepts can be 
> found below in section 3, or from the book <Principles of Information 
> Science> (Yixin Zhong, BUPT Press, 1988, 1^st edition; 1996, 2^nd 
> edition; 2002, 3^rd edition; 2005, 4^th edition; and 2013, 5^th 
> edition; all in Chinese).Up to now, unfortunately, people have paid 
> little attentions to the understanding of the two categories of 
> information and the mutual relation between them. Some concerned only 
> with the first category while some others with the second. More often, 
> people just use the same term of ‘information’ to referred to the two. 
> This makes the concept of information extremely chaotic. This is 
> really the root producing variety of the misconceptions related to 
> information.
> *3, How To Define Different Categories of Information?*
> The definitions of the two category of information can briefly be 
> given as follows.
> *The ontological information*of any object(including the living and 
> non-living thins)is the object’s _formal state and the pattern of the 
> state varying_ that are produced and presented by the objects in the 
> real world.*
> *
> *The epistemological information*perceived by any subject about any 
> object consists of three components: (1)_the syntactic information_ 
> which is the one perceived by the subject directly from the object’s 
> ontological information, (2) _the pragmatic information_ which is the 
> utility of the object’s ontological information towards the subject’s 
> goal, and (3) _the semantic information_ which is the meaning that the 
> subject understand about the object and which is jointly defined by 
> (1) and (2) through the mapping of the Cartesian product of syntactic 
> and pragmatic information into the space of semantic information and 
> then naming it.
> The key words in the definition of ontological information are “_the 
> formal state and the pattern of the state varying_”, neither “negative 
> entropy”, “variety”, nor “difference that make difference”. In fact, 
> when someone received a piece of (ontological) information about a 
> thing, this means that the person knew t_he thing’s formal state and 
> the pattern of the state varying_.It is very clear that _the concept 
> of *information in Shannon Theory* is a special case of 
> epistemological information having only the syntactic information and 
> completely ignoring both the pragmatic and the semantic information_. 
> Yet, Shannon information is practically useful because it meets the 
> needs of communication engineering – whenever there is message 
> appeared at the sending terminal of the communication system, just 
> transmit it without asking what meaning and value embedded in the 
> message, as long as there is sufficient channel capacity.
> *4, How To Classify and Handle the Various Kinds of Information?*
> According to the definitions of ontological information, 
> epistemological information and the information in Shannon Theory 
> stated above, it is reasonable to have the following points.
> (1) *Ontological Information: *If the term of information is referred 
> to the one only related to objects themselves, either living things or 
> non-living things, without touching the processes of human perception 
> and any processing, it is the concept of ontological information.
> (2) *Epistemological Information: *If the term of information is 
> referred to the one only related to the results of perception and 
> processing, either by humans, living things or machines, it is the 
> epistemological information.
> (3) *Shannon Information:* If the term of information is referred to 
> the one only related to communication process, it is then the Shannon 
> information.
> (4) *Disinformation:* It is a kind of epistemological information 
> produced by someone who is with immoral goal (its pragmatic 
> information is negative to human society).
> (5) *Misinformation:* It is also a kind of epistemological information 
> produced by someone who may not be with immoral goal but have made 
> mistakes in operation.
> (6) *It is almost impossible* to classify the various kinds of 
> information mentioned above merely by analyzing their formal 
> structures (syntactic information). As mentioned above, the major 
> differences among normal epistemological information, disinformation, 
> and misinformation lie on the pragmatic information.
> (7) *The technology* most suitable for handling the disinformation and 
> misinformation is artificial intelligence (AI) based on the natural 
> language understanding (NLU). However, the current state of the art of 
> NLU in AI is still in its stage of infancy due to the fact that the 
> ‘information concept’ applied in AI is limited to Shannon Theory.
> (8) *The Better solution* for dealing with disinformation must rely on 
> the power of advanced artificial intelligence that we have been 
> dealing with for many years and have made good progress (See 
> <Principles of Advanced Artificial Intelligence> by Yixin Zhong, 
> Science Press, 2014, in Chinese)
> (9) *The Ultimate Solution* for successfully dealing with such kind of 
> problem like disinformation would rely heavily on the collectively 
> human efforts worldwide in the fields of honesty, responsibility, 
> ethics, and morality.
> Best wishes,
> Yixin Zhong, 2020-01-24, Beijing, China
> -- 
> -------------------------------------------------
> Pedro C. Marijuán
> Grupo de Bioinformación / Bioinformation Group
> pcmarijuan.iacs at aragon.es
> http://sites.google.com/site/pedrocmarijuan/
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Pedro C. Marijuán
Grupo de Bioinformación / Bioinformation Group

pcmarijuan.iacs at aragon.es

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